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At this point my only intention was that further reading would expand my horizons for a broader work on Gothic literature, not a dedicated work on Poe exclusively. However, after reacquainting myself with some of Poe’s most famous work, I became convinced that an emphasis on Poe’s work would be the path I would pursue. I soon arrived at a similar problem as before: What would be the focus of the work? Through re-familiarisation with Poe’s work I was engrossed by the repetition of the dying woman motif littered across much of his work. I conceded that the sexualisation of death, specifically the death of a woman, would be my topic of dissertation. Beginning, as most students of Poe do, I began to read all the tales I was familiar with, not only from my studies, but also from popular culture: “The Raven”, “William Wilson”, etc. I found that, as I suspected, most of these dealt with the topic of death in some way or another.

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